Daniel M. Rosenberg Podcaster & Activist
“I’m a Jack of all Trades, Master of None, which is inherently a negative thing to call somebody. But I see it as something I’m quite proud of.”
Daniel M. Rosenberg is a husband of one, father of three and master of none.
Professionally he’s worn many hats; in the worlds of accounting and finance, sustainable manufacturing and even product development – all of which allows him to have a multi-faceted approach to every challenge he takes on.
But his passion, and indeed a heck of a lot of his time, is spent meeting and speaking to interesting people from all over the world. And on a podcast no less, which is how I was introduced to him.
Daniel hosts The Sod’s Law Podcast, a chart-topping weekly show that highlights ordinary people & their extraordinary stories and it can be found anywhere you get podcasts or at SodsPod.com.
Experiencing Jew hatred (03:07)
Daniel’s viral rant about… (13:21)
Why the time-out on social media (34:07)
How did you get into this (41:40)
On virtue signaling and cancel culture (53:32)
So what’s your gift? (1:08:59)
So Daniel. I’m that….? (1:16:00)
Edited Transcription with typos – sorry:
Eitan Chitayat 00:48
Daniel M. Rosenberg is the husband of one father of three. And as he likes to say, Master of None. Professionally, he’s worn many hats in the worlds of accounting and finance, sustainable manufacturing and product development. But most of his time is spent meeting and speaking to interesting people from all over the world. Sound familiar? Daniel hosts the Sod’s law podcast, a chart-topping weekly show that highlights ordinary people and their extraordinary stories. And I’ve been listening to him for quite a while. You can find sods law anywhere you get podcasts or at sides, pod calm. And before we start talking, let me just say that you can find updates, episode clips and more on all the social media platforms using his handle at sidepod. Let’s get going.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 01:39
Good morning. Good afternoon, I should say for you.
Eitan Chitayat 01:42
F*** me, you have an amazing voice. Are you trying?
Daniel M. Rosenberg 01:49
Trying to have a voice?
Eitan Chitayat 01:52
Listen to me. ‘Good morning, Daniel. How are you doing?’ See, I’m saying you see just like I’m trying it a little bit. And sometimes I do that. But you? Wow.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 02:06
It’s a pretty good microphone. So I’ll let that shoulder most of the burden. It’s good to see you.
Eitan Chitayat 02:12
It’s good to see you. Yeah, I’m really happy to meet you. I’ve been following you for quite a while.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 02:19
I’ve been following you as well. Yeah, definitely for the last couple of months. Yeah, it’s it’s actually a very heartwarming thing to engage with someone over a topic on which we both have strong feelings. And seeing how other people engage with that in different ways and how things develop it. It’s one of the only positive things I’ve seen come out social media is this type of engagement. I hate social media. But this has been lovely.
Eitan Chitayat 02:48
Yeah, for context, we’re talking about the rise in global antisemitism is how, how there are a few people who have been, I guess, fighting the fight, which you have been doing. And we’ll talk about that and a few other people, I guess myself include. Man, it’s toxic out there.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 03:07
Yeah, I’m very sheltered in a number of different ways. I live in a very safe part of the world. Thankfully, I haven’t directly encountered the type of antisemitism or Jew hatred that we’re seeing.
For a while it has happened where I’m living now. But I’m fortunate, I’m privileged. I’m fortunate. However, my privilege, I feel shouldn’t stop me from talking about it or being open about my experiences. It’s not one of those things where I’m standing up and saying, Yes, inherently, something is wrong.
For example, the anti-black racism that’s come out of England literally final this week. That’s something I can stand up and talk about. But it’s not from my own lived experience. I’m fortunate in that regard. It does not affect me. But antisemitism does affect me. I might not have been the guy that was stabbed in Boston a couple of weeks ago, or fireworks thrown at me in New York a month or two ago.
But there’s nothing separating me from that situation apart from geography. I might not be experiencing it this very moment. But the only thing stopping me from experiencing it is that I currently live in a safe part of the UK. If I was walking the streets of Manchester City Center, every day, where am I getting Davitt? I’d be more likely to encounter it. For the last 18 months I’ve been working from home. I don’t have to leave this room to make a living, thankfully. But if it was part of my daily life to interact with people in a way that I used to, like five years ago, 10 years ago, I’d be experiencing the same antisemitism that people are experiencing all over the world. So tell me how have you experienced antisemitism I think both you and I have said in the last few weeks, let’s stop calling it antisemitism is Jew-hatred, folks. Right? I have been trying to educate myself on what antisemitism actually means. So I think if we’re able to make a distinction using Barri Weiss’s book, ‘How to fight antisemitism is a really good tool. The difference between antisemitism and Jew-hatred is, well, antisemitism is saying that all Jews control the media, all Jews are rich, it’s very different from Jew-hatred, which might include throwing rocks at people walking whilst Jewish, or B, there’s a difference between prejudice and discrimination, I think.
So if we’re talking about my first experience of Jew-hatred would have been maybe at the age of four or five years old. I went to a Jewish Primary School in North Manchester in the UK. And we had this playground, which we play at recess, and we’d play football or just run around as kids. And the fence to our playground was right on a main road into Manchester City Centre. So it’s an A part of Manchester called Cheatham Hill, where it’s very multicultural. I remember distinctively being called a year kike at the age of four or five years old, just playing in, in a playground, and I’m a Jew, and we’re all Jews in this playground and people walking past going your fucking Jew and we’re gonna walk and knowing that yes, we are Jews, but not knowing what the word Jew meant in terms of a negative way. So I said, that’s the first experience. But then growing up from the age of 11 to 18, I went to a normal school, I didn’t just go to Jewish schools and getting told by a religious Christian student, saying, Listen, you’re a nice guy, but you are going to hell. You know? Why? Well, because you’re a Jew. You guys killed Jesus. But what me personally, I was born in 1989. And I don’t think I was there, mate. But no, I’m responsible. So I’d say that that’s one type of antisemitism or another. Walking through Manchester, as a teenager, I used to wear a kippah, or a yarmulke, on my head from the age of about 16 to 18, walking through the city passed an open beer garden and a man chucked a full pint of beer at my head. So things like that. walking home from school or synagogue on a Saturday, even in my lovely safe neighborhood, hearing a Jew and suddenly turning around and hearing eggs whizzed past your head and smashing on the pavement next year. It’s an exhaustive list. It’s just been a part of life living in the UK, being made to feel like you’re another. Do
Eitan Chitayat 08:01
You think people are aware of that? Do you think like your average everyday person who is not Jewish, is just aware of that type of shit that a lot of Jewish people go through?
Daniel M. Rosenberg 08:11
I would say no, we make up what naught point 02 percent of the world population. Currently, nothing is a fraction of nothing. And I would argue unless you live in a major population center, New York, Los Angeles, London, wherever, major big cities, you’re not really going to encounter a Jew. We take that for granted. Because we are prominent in things like TV and film and storytelling. But there’s not that many of us. And that means just statistically, not many people in the world have met Jews. Personally. Some people might disagree with me, but I don’t think we are born hating other people. I think it’s learned or taught. And if, for generations, people have been told ‘Listen, there is this group of people that they’re insidious. They’re like vermin, right. They’re smart. They’re sneaky. A lot of them are white. So they try and blend in. Right, they’ve got a lot of money, and they don’t get the black plague. And they burned down the Twin Towers, and they’ve done this and that’.
And then suddenly there becomes this malignant mystery around this group of people who are always at the scene of the crime, allegedly, if you’ve been told the Jews killed Jesus, because of one bit of misinformation a couple of 1000 years ago, people haven’t been taught the truth. I would argue it’s the obligation of anybody who wants to engage in that type of conversation that they should educate themselves, but that’s a very optimistic and probably slightly condescending thing to say, not everybody’s going to do that.
Not everybody is going to have the resources to educate themselves. On the matter that the Jews didn’t kill Jesus, and they’re not this secret, evil group of people trying to rule the world. So I should also say, by the way, I have had positive experiences when people have found out that I’m Jewish as well, just like you. But it’s overwhelmingly negative. For the majority of it, for the most part, I think that what you could do the general you if you encounter somebody who says, what you’re Jewish, so you kill Jesus. One thing you could do is very politely tell them why that’s not the case. Explain all this. That that was part of a conspiracy that was pulled out of thin air A long time ago, and it has had long term ramifications. In fact, yes, I am a Jew. But you cut me I bleed just like you. I’ve got no horns, I’ve not got appendages that you don’t have. And yes, while some Jews make up their billionaire millionaire class, there are also cab drivers, boxes, plumbers, homeless people who are Jews, believe it or not,
Eitan Chitayat 11:11
Everything about antisemitism is rooted in big, big lies that fester over generations of people who have come and gone over decades, hundreds of years, 1000s of years. It’s like you walk into a room, and you’re already… you’re ‘the Jew’, you’ve got all of these preconceived notions that you walk in with.
And that’s the bit that really frustrates me and so many times, and I’m feeling it with a lot of the Jewish advocates like us, I guess, in the public arena. And I think it’s important that we’re all doing what we can, because maybe the people that are in this fight are in the fight, because we know maybe a thing or two about communications when we have an audience or we know how to articulate, maybe we know how to empathize or that people who aren’t like that can leverage what we put out there. But a lot of it is us talking to ourselves, you know, the big echo chamber, like we’re all talking, like you and I talking to each . But how many people who are not just gonna hear this, how many people who are not familiar with our pain, our strife, the stuff that affects me and my two children, and you and your three children, which we’ll talk about, that it really does affect us these misconceptions and the silence? Because we’re so few, because okay, well, yeah, Black Lives Matter has fucking billions of black people listening. You know, you have you have gay people. You have you the Me Too movement, which is women – 50% of the planet, practically. And then there’s us, you know, it’s frustrating, isn’t it?
Daniel M. Rosenberg 13:04
Yeah, absolutely. And it will always have that starting on the backfoot. Defensiveness is part of who we are, and is one of the things that I think rang true when I had my little rant,
Eitan Chitayat 13:17
Which I want to which I want to play right now.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 13:21
“Again, I find myself now living in fear, not because I’m at risk of a Qassam rocket bursting through my roof. I’m in the UK, where because of this foreign conflict that everyone seems entitled to an opinion on anti-semitic abuse and attacks on Jews here and elsewhere in the world have increased by apparently around 500% in the last two weeks, and talking about men being beaten in the streets for wearing a kippah of having peyote or sits it on show children are being egged in the streets on their way home from synagogue on a Saturday.
And even a Jewish man in Baltimore in the US was shot dead, all under the thin guise of justice for Palestinians in Gaza. How the fuck the Jews living in Manchester in Baltimore, in London, Toronto, or anywhere else in the world have anything to do with the military decisions or policymaking of an independent state of which we aren’t even citizens or taxpayers. I’ve been debating with myself whether or not I should address this how I could address this. And apart from promoting this podcast, I’ve shied away from social media for years, and I’ve especially avoided talking about Israel or antisemitism in the UK. I’m now at the point where my silence on this topic is 100% part of the problem what I am going to do is call out those people who are of a mixture of ignorance and a desire to present themselves as following the trend of the week.
Absolutely content with the idea of Jews worldwide living in fear of the communities they’ve actually helped build or contributed to for generations. Most Jews outside of Israel Live where they live, because their families fled violence or sought refuge from terror. I live here in the UK because my family fled pogroms in Eastern Europe before the First World War. My kids now are fifth generation, the fifth generation of my family to be born in this country. Our family has served in the armed forces built doctor surgeries, dental practices helped design parks and town centers taught children to read and write English develop products to save the British countryside from environmental damage given off flesh and blood, literally to those on death’s door in this country, even put bubbles in arrow by the way. And still, there are those who say we are not only not a welcome here, but that we’re a lesser people less than human, all under the tissue thin protection of the very socially acceptable anti Zionism. I’m a Jew, whether I like it or not, I could believe in Buddhism, Islam, or identify as a fucking Jedi. But that wouldn’t stop my having to now explain to my three children that there are those who hate them, not because of their beliefs or their actions, but because of their ethnicity because they’re tainted, they’re the untouchable, insufferable Jew, and this would all be upsetting on its own. But what makes it even worse, is that many of my friends or connections are from all different backgrounds, every background you can think of I work everyday with people from all over the world.
And I can count on one hand, the number of those people who’ve reached out to check on us, or expressed concern for the rise in Jew hatred in recent weeks. So a message to those of you who have engaged with over the years broken bread with had in my home left with spent my time and my life with how many of you shared black tiles on your social media in June 2020 after George Floyd was killed in the US How many of you screamed your opinions during the Brexit referendum or the last general elections are posted daily about how dangerous Donald Trump was? Or about the immigrant children in cages at the US border? Why was it so easy for you to post photos of yourself clapping for the NHS on Thursday nights during the pandemic because I put it to you that if the matter at hand didn’t directly affect you, then at the very least you looked or felt good for joining the latest virtue signal hype train if you posted hashtag Black Lives Matter or hashtag free Palestine or hashtag trans rights, but did or said nothing when Armenian Christians were being slaughtered last summer by Turkish funded Azeri militants.
If you kept your mouth shut about Uighur Muslims being ethnically cleansed from China. If you didn’t make a peep during the last decade, whilst a quarter of a million Syrian civilians were being slaughtered by Bashar Al Assad’s government or were silent when people drove through our streets, the streets of Britain waving Palestinian flags calling fuck the Jews raised their daughters and beat the shit out of local rabbis for the crime of walking whilst Jewish, just know that we an ethnic group who isn’t worthy of your concern, we hear Your silence like a fucking thunderclap.”
So I think one of the aspects of that, that rang true was about explaining to my children. Because it’s one thing saying, I am just like you do I not bleed if you cut me. Okay, that rings true with some people. But what the majority of people who got in touch with me after that came out, was saying, Yeah, I am scared about talking to my children about it as well. I’m scared, I’m scared. Knowing that it’s always ever present, no matter what we do. I still am more scared about how it will impact the people I loved and how it will impact me. I’ve been attacked in a variety of different ways. But I don’t want them to have to go go through it as well. And if you think about it, you mentioned Black Lives Matter of gay rights or trans rights.
We live in this incredible time where you can have can’t say identify as whatever you identify as, as if your sexualities something you identify as that something that you are, and you can be free to be that person. We live in that time where you’re safer now more than ever. But saying I’m a Jew, has more negative connotations to people outside of our echo chamber than positive. And I don’t want to have to explain to my seven year old daughter that yes, the Nazis might be gone. The second world war is gone because we’ve learned about the Holocaust together and we talk about Second World War But now I’m gonna have to explain that there are people who are progressive, and kind and loving, and they want to give everybody rights and freedoms. But a lot of those people don’t like you. Because you’re a Jew, not because of something that you believe, not because you’ve done something wrong or insidious or negative. But because of your genetics, because of the nation of which you’ve been born into something you cannot help. That’s a terrifying prospect for people. And I imagine that something that people in, let’s say that the black community or the African American community have to deal with having to explain to their children, you could be whatever you want to be, but you’ll always be held back because of the color of your skin. It’s something terrifying, to have to reason with an innocent child who’s never seen the shifts that other people put each other through. But you have to break it to them at some point or someone else will. And that is that was the overwhelming response that I got. Now. It was very widely seen that video. And I was saying now to you people who’ve come I’ve considered friends and people I’ve had in my life who are not part of the Jewish community,’ where the fuck are you?’ And people went, yes, I agree with this message. Almost everybody who engaged with that video would use I’m sure of it. That was the biggest irony was that it just bounced around the echo chamber. I had people saying it’s got viral. Well, no, it went Jewish viral. Went Jewish viral.
Eitan Chitayat 21:40
So you know, I made this video I meant to like a few years ago, absolutely. Every once in a while resurfaces, and it goes viral again. So a lot of people think that I made that against antisemitism, and I didn’t, I made it for us. Like I it was a statement for the Jewish people about the way that I felt. And remember that you’re Jewish. And remember that no one can define you Only you can define who you are. That was, that was a message and everyone should be able to. But it, it didn’t really go viral outside of the Jewish community. And people who have seen it, who are not Jewish, are, for the most part, very moved and agree.
And actually something beautiful about the fact that when it did go out when Facebook wasn’t what it is today, you know, you don’t have all these algorithms blocking everything today. But a lot of non-Jewish people did post it and share it, which was nice. And I did feel solidarity. But today, yeah, it’s funny like this is all talking to each other. That’s the thing that I’ve become a little bit obsessed about. Because you have all of a sudden, all these Jewish groups and organizations popping up everywhere. And you and I know that there’s a bit of groups of people that get together and say, ‘let’s all be on the same page’, which I think is all very well.
But the amazing thing that BDS which is ‘boycott, divestment, and sanction’. And you know, they basically don’t believe in the State of Israel. And there’s a lot of antisemitism inherent in that organization, which we don’t need to get into. But as a strategy,, they’ve done a really good job of delivering a message, which is one message, they have an audience, which is clearly defined, and it’s mainstream at this stage. And they’re consistent, and they’re organized. And I think we could learn from them.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 23:34
Yeah, I have sounded a bit negative about the response to my video. I should say that. My wife Victoria and I have been doing this podcast, the Sod’s law podcast now for a couple of years. And we’ve been talking about things like this, not all the time. It’s not all we talk about. We talk about all sorts of different things. But after I drafted what I was going to be talking about for the intro for that week’s episode, my wife said, Dan, this is powerful. Maybe put out as a video, I think people will want to hear this. And our listenership exploded from that, and that’s a positive thing.
But the most positive thing that’s come out of it is that I’ve found people like you Eitan and other people, not just friendly conversations. But I haven’t talked about antisemitism in this way, or let’s say my relationship to the State of Israel, primarily, Israel, specifically because I don’t have the tools in my head, I don’t have the resources or haven’t had the knowledge to discuss it and I don’t have all things I don’t want to be as a hypocrite. I’m terrified of being a hypocrite, I have been a hypocrite I just don’t want to be one ever again.
And if I engage with some pleb, who’s saying BDS free Palestine, even though I know they’re wrong, I didn’t have the tools to disagree with them. All right. argue with them or debate them. So since that video came out, I’ve been forced into conversations with people like Ian Barlow, who you had on your podcast, a fantastic episode, by the way, like people like Noah Tishbi, Blake Flayton, Hen Mazzig, Ben Freeman, all these incredible voices, bear in mind various different views, and I don’t align with all of their politics or get off with them all Personally, I’m sure. Barri Weiss as well, I mentioned before, before that, I didn’t know where to look to get answers to the problems that were being pitched to me. I didn’t talk about Israel because I didn’t know how to address it. And I didn’t know how to criticize Israel appropriately either. Which, as with any country, shouldn’t be on be beyond reproach if they make errors.
But you don’t hear other people say, ‘Well, I support the United States right to exist.’ But what they did in Vietnam, poof, yeah, you don’t hear that you hear it with Israel. But my point is, the most positive thing to come out of it is being put in touch with these incredible thinkers and speakers and personalities, who have amalgamated historical information, conversations with other people and a variety of different opinions to make this banker resources for people like me who wants to help or want to stand up and want to stand up for our rights. And go, right, okay, learn about these things across the board. And then you’re armed against the ignorance or against the insidiousness of organizations like BDS. And I think that is something that I’m, I’m trying to push for more, is when people have come to me and said, this is very good, what you’re doing, I just don’t know how to do it myself. Well, here are people I’ve spoken to, or listen to go away and do your homework and formulate your own opinions.
Eitan Chitayat 26:54
What you said, that kind of like went viral, that kind of like put you on the map in a way. Yeah, was incredibly powerful, and inspirational, and, and moving. And I think that it’s humanity. It’s the good side of humanity, everything that you said, everything that you were feeling. And it was kind of a critique on all things that are not in line with the good side of humanity. And I think that when you’re at, like, after the film that I made, you know I have a community on Facebook with around 12,000 followers, and it’s a community that I really cherish and I invest a lot of time in it. I don’t post every day. But there are people in that community that really engage with each other, and they talk about common fears. And there’s a sense of, you’re also helping, you’re helping to make the world a better place by doing what I think the Jewish people do, which is we learn. We study we argue. Just look at what Yeshiva is…it’s just basically 24 seven, arguing and debating with the Word of God, and growing, as opposed to hearing something, and just, ‘oh, okay, well, that must be the truth,’ you know, or hearing something and ‘Okay, yeah, I hear you’, and then go and spreading that.
And I do think in many ways that, um, you know, what you said about Israel? You know, I live in Israel, we’re not perfect. You know, of course not. We have our issues. You know, I’ve never voted for Netanyahu now in my life. But you know, based on the fact that I’m proud Israeli Zionist, people accuse me of being hard, right? That I want to suppress the Palestinians, even though I’ve made films about peace. I think that this notion of humanity and fighting the good fight, it kind of turns me on. I mean, it motivates me. And that’s a question I have for you that people might not be able to articulate the way that you do. And you do it very well. How much is that feeling of responsibility? Like, well, I did something that really resonated. I said something that touched people, I articulated something that moved people, and they’re looking to me now to help them.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 29:19
It’s a strange question. Because as I said before, what I said and how I said it, even though I hadn’t said that exact speech before, wasn’t out of keeping with what I was already doing. It’s just that there was now more people there were now more people seeing it based on the change in how I presented that information. And it was a very strange thing to be told by 1000s of people over across various media, that this was exactly how they felt, and that it resonated with them and it did make me feel a responsibility to continue Bear in mind, I should also say being completely honest, there is something very gratifying about it is not wholly an altruistic thing. I produce a podcast to get people to engage with this for a variety of different reasons. And it benefits it benefits me significantly to have more people engage. But there was this conflict, there is a conflict about it because my podcast Sod’s Law isn’t the Jewish podcast, we talk to people from all over the world about all different things. But like you said, People assume that you were hard, right? Because you’re Israel or anti-Palestinian, you’re in Israel. You’re anti-Palestinian. No. I’ve had people call me all sorts of her read this shit for speaking out against antisemitism. Melanie Phillips, the columnist, anonymously shut on me and by anonymously means she didn’t use my name in her column. But basically when that podcast just winging from the safety of his home, if he’s finds it so difficult to live in the UK, then maybe you should just make Alia, move to Israel, like everybody else. Well, you know, what, don’t discourage people from speaking out, because then people will stop speaking out. Well, then people say this guy’s a lefty, because I mentioned,
Eitan Chitayat 31:23
What was her agenda there?
Daniel M. Rosenberg 31:25
I don’t know I can only assume it was just something to write about that week. But I’ve been called a hard lefty. Because I said, I don’t support the illegal theft of land or property from Palestinians. That’s not saying there is theft of land or property from Palestinians. I’m not commenting on whether or not that’s happening. I’m saying I don’t support that by being by calling myself a Zionist. So be all right. You’re a Marxist. You’re a leftist? No, I’m just a guy who picks and chooses his opinions based on the resources I have available to me. I’m, as Brett Bridgette fantasy says, I’m politically homeless. I’m not one way or the other, you might say some of my thoughts are one way and some of them are the other. And so back onto this strange response and how it made us feel. We got told a lot as well, while you’re very brave, we went are we? Are we in danger now?
Because we’ve been this is exactly what we’ve been doing for years. And it seems that Yeah, people don’t like you standing up and saying, I demand the right not to be attacked for my ethnicity. And thankfully, I’m in a position where my livelihood is secure enough to carry on doing this. But there is that risk, that people won’t want to work with you if you talk out against antisemitism or talk out, speak out saying I am a Zionist, and this is what Zionist means. It does not mean I want to drive all the Arabs into the sea. It does not mean that if all it means is that I believe in the Jewish right to self-determination. And that I believe that we, as Jews, and every ethnicity should just be safe being what they want to be. And that’s a very difficult thing to say out loud, because people pile on when I first started talking about Israel on social media a decade ago, which was the reason why I stopped was around. It was the week that Gilad Shalit was released.
Eitan Chitayat 33:35
Let’s talk about for a second who Gilad Shalit is literally. So he was an Israeli soldier that was kidnapped by the Hamas. He was held hostage for many, many years, and finally released in a massive prisoner swap and a 1027 Palestinian or Israeli Arab prisoners were swapped for this one person, and a lot of them were terrorists. Quite a few that killed people. So it was a massive deal. And he just got married a few weeks ago. Yeah.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 34:07
So around that. So my relationship to that experience was in 2006. He was captured in what’s called Gaza cross border raid. And a few months later, a few weeks later, there was another cross border raid, but in the north by Hezbollah from Lebanon, and they captured Eldad, reg F. And l echoed Goldwasser, which I believe it’s 15 years today or 15 years yesterday since that raid that sparked the Lebanon War. I was in the Lebanon War in 2006. Volunteering unrelated, I was only 17. It just it sparked something in me to talk to people about it, but then building up to 2011 when Shalit was released. I put something on Facebook. At the time I was connected to mostly non Jewish people because I went to school and university with people from all sorts of backgrounds and I said, Isn’t this insane? That a country that will value the life of one person so highly gets criticized as being evil or an apartheid state or blah, blah, blah, you know, the standard pro-Israel shit that we come out with.
And I got shat on by so many different people blocked on friended your racist pig, free free policy, basically, the response was so negative, I went, Whoa, I’m just trying to start a life I was just newly married or engaged. I thought this is not something I want to engage with, I’m going to bury my head in the sand. So for a decade, almost I didn’t talk openly about Israel in that way, because I thought my livelihood and even to some extent, my physical safety is at risk. There were death threats and physical threats after that post. But then, in recent weeks and months, I’ve come to the realization and this is what I think has resonated a lot as well is that I’m no safer than any Jew, whether I’m talking about it or not. That Rabbi who was stabbed during an attempted daylight abduction in Boston, the week before last was just walking whilst Jewish. I walk whilst Jewish, right just in a different way.
So I’m safe or as unsafe as anyone who is part of this tribe, whether I’m talking about it openly or not. And that means that I feel that I may as well talk about it. I feel the same way. There’s nothing stopping me from talking about it. I guess I’ve gone round the house is not really answering your question. But it has had a massive emotional impact on my wife and I about how people have felt about us talking about this. But that doesn’t mean there’s not fear associated with it as well, is terrifying. Because it would be the easy thing to do to just run our business day to day, talk about the football on the podcast, or talk about what it’s like having three kids all the time, though. But no, this is something that’s important to us. And we want to talk about it. And even if just one person listened to it, as opposed to the 10s of 1000s of people who listen to what we’ve been doing over the last few weeks, we’d still do it.
Eitan Chitayat 37:20
And I think that there’s a lot to be said for first of all, feeling something so deeply, which it’s clear that you are proud of your heritage, as I’d like to think that most people should be, you know, proud of their heritage. And when your heritage is being lied about, whether it’s in the past or in the present, that’s a big deal. We knew take a stand as an individual, not just as a public figure at this stage who has a podcast, and who is good at expressing and expressing what you feel that there’s nothing more gratifying than people writing and saying thank you for putting into words a ton what I am not able to put into words, but it is it is exactly how I feel.
And it’s connected to heritage, it’s connected to your people. And I think it’s okay to be different. I think we are different. I think all people are different. We’re with the same, you know, in the sense that we are we will people but I think it’s great to celebrate who we are and we should be able to proudly without the defense without the walking into a conversation like we’ve been pummeled already because of misconception. So I think that what you’re doing, Daniel is very important along with some of the other people that we are connected to and may be friends with or just associated with.
Because we are helping people express something that they are afraid to. And I think that you’re right, it doesn’t matter if you’re a rabbi in Boston, which I lived in Boston for almost seven years. So I was horrified or actually in Israel, you know, a few years ago with the knife stabbings were happening in Israel, you know, because when people say because well, there’s Palestinians and Israelis, but no it started because of the kind of like the demonization of Jewish people, by Arab leaders that goes back generations, which a lot of people are not even aware of. So they think it’s the Palestinian Israeli conflict, but it goes much deeper than that, you know, or in America or somewhere in Europe. It’s important that we speak out and it’s scary. It is scary. I remember when I put it on social and the caption started with my name is Eitan Chitayat. And it was a very important family decision that my wife and I made to, to not be anonymous about it. So that we can try and empower people to not be scared. And I think that’s, you know, it’s the fear that’s the killer. We have to be vocal, more than ever. So I think what you’re doing is great. I love listening to your podcast. I love listening to you. They’re not rambles to me. They’re very insightful. Tell me, how did you do what is it that you do? You got the podcast? What else do you do? I know what your family is doing, we can talk about it. But like, how did you get to where you are doing that?
Daniel M. Rosenberg 40:12
I’ve got somewhere and I love it. I was one of those kids who did well at school. I was a young kid and my parents, my incredible parents, I’m not criticizing my parents at all, but they did what I think is one of the worst things parents can do to their kids. And they said, what they did was they said, you could be anything you want it to be. That fucked me up, I reckon. I reckon that, despite their best efforts allowed me to flounder and be lazy and be terrified of trying new things and exploring myself. Ultimately, I did okay at school, I got into university to study a degree that I didn’t want to do, but I did it anyway, failed it because I couldn’t cope with four years of studying something that I hated. Because I’ve never been told to find something that makes you happy, or just focus on things that you’re good at until you find something that you can apply to like a practical livelihood. So I came out of university, having done very badly, and my dad said, Right, well, you’ve not earned the opportunity to take a gap year so go and work for my friend, Steven, the accountant, which was then two years of hell came out of that failing, basically, to run my own business for 12 months, which failed.
Eitan Chitayat 41:39
What was it?
Daniel M. Rosenberg 41:40
It was accounting and finance. It was life insurance, it was doing people’s books, it was horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible. But the thing is, I was always this kind of egotistical guy, where I wanted to be this showman in a way and my boss wouldn’t give me a business card. I remember when I was working for this accountancy firm. And I said, if you want me to go out and get new business, I need a business card. And if you don’t give me one, I’m gonna have to make one myself. So he didn’t make me one. So I made my business card. And it said, like Daniel Rosenberg, a cat-like trainee accountant, and on the back, I’d had written in like quotes, like, he’s Jewish. , so we must be good. God. So my boss then went, Okay, you can have your own fucking business card then. So he printed me business cards. And it was just, I was terrible at it. I hated it. I was newly married and trying to set up a life and it was just awful, had serious mental health issues with regards to just anxiety and spiraling self-sabotaging behavior, overconsumption of food and alcohol, very unhealthy.
And whilst running my own business, (running being a very loose word, because it was failing) I did some work for a businessman or a family-run business local to me. And I was terrible with money. If I ever did work for someone, I could never ask for money afterward. So I did a lot of work for basically nothing. And after a number of months, this guy’s son, who was running the business with him, when we’re looking to expand the business, will he come and work with us? And at that point, I was sitting in what is this office, it was just a different setup, then, with my head in my hands. So how am I going to pay my bills, we’ve got a new baby. And he knocks on the door and says, come and work with me. And this was a godsend if you believe in that type of thing. Seven, nearly seven and a half years later, I’m running that business with my business partner, Jake.
So the son of the guy who ran the business, he’s now the managing director. And we do a whole variety of different things, eco-friendly manufacturing, flood protection. It’s a multifaceted business within sustainable manufacturing, and I love it. It’s my career. And within that business, I did a lot of public speaking and sales presentations and continued professional development seminars. And I realized that talking to people is what I like to do. And I meet people from all over the world every day with this business that I’m running with Jake. And I love podcasts. I got into podcasts whilst on the road, as I was getting sick of my own music library. And my brother said, Have you ever listened to podcasts before? And I said no. So he put me on to WTF with Marc Maron – the best podcast in the world. And from there, it went to the Joe Rogan experience and Luther Roos podcast and other podcasts. And the great thing about listening to incredible talent, whether it’s stand-up comedy, or you watch someone being creative, that does it really, really well. Is it makes you go, I’m not good enough, I can’t do that. But then when you see someone doing it badly, you go, Oh shit, they’re doing it. I could do better than them.
And so I said to my wife, I’d like to start a podcast. What do you think? So she went, well, you’re not having another hobby to take you away from the family. We’re doing it together. So then Yes, okay, great. Let’s do it together, what should it be about? We looked at a variety of different things. And initially, we were going to be talking about primarily dad related issues, fertility, but at the time, Victoria had had a succession of five miscarriages, between our second and third kid, and that was consuming our world, the fact that we weren’t able to have kids anymore. Secondary infertility. So we decided to start talking to people about family-related things. And let’s talk to dads about things that people don’t normally talk about, like, what’s it like for you as a dad to have to go through IVF. And after recording a couple of episodes, we realize this is a very close thing that we’re doing. And it just then turned into ordinary people talking about their extraordinary stories. So people going through IVF is something that isn’t extraordinary. But hearing a dad talking about it, or a couple talking about it, in a medium that doesn’t really address it normally. Normally, it’s a women’s space conversation. But having a bearded hairy guy talk to a couple about what it’s like to have a child with a chronic illness. That’s something that interests me, and it doesn’t seem to have been done before. So marrying our own interests with something that seems a little bit groundbreaking. That was the idea. And we’ve talked to people from all over the world about fertility, family illnesses, some quite dark things, cancer. A couple have a child with narcolepsy, which is not funny. My own experience of narcolepsy prior to that conversation was watching rat race with Rowan Atkinson. And it’s hilarious. But narcolepsy is a serious condition.
And we’ve talked to people about Israel, we’ve talked to people about entrepreneurship. And we’ve talked to people about a whole host of different things. And it started off in that pigeonhole. And it’s now just become this personal storytelling Podcast, where we get people on who aren’t necessarily celebrities, we’ve had a couple on but mostly, they’re just average Joe’s, like you and me, who go through things that are either out of the ordinary or so ordinary that no one talks about, but it happens to everybody. So I’m interviewing later this week as a returning guest, Michaela Abramson, who has a condition called endometriosis. I didn’t know what that was. And I’m going to hammer it up trying to explain what it is, but it’s an issue with women having menstrual tissue in places other than their womb or their uterus. So it means that periods are excruciating. Always, it’s very difficult to diagnose. That means you can have uterine tissue elsewhere in your body, like on your bladder or on your bowel and it’s agony. It affects fertility. And it’s a chronic condition that is crippling. This girl’s not even 30 yet, and she’s had to have a hysterectomy and it’s just horrendous. But that’s something that one in 10 women have. But how many podcasts are talking about it? Very few. So that’s something that we like to do is to talk to people about things that you didn’t realize were that common, as well.
And what also developed over time was that the intro rambles. Initially, it was just Hi, I’m Daniel, I like to talk to people. Here’s my conversation with Joe Schmo about blah, blah, blah. And then cue the intro. Cue the guest. But then we started introducing little stories like Listen, you don’t know much about me. I grew up in Manchester. I’m a Jew. I had two pet parakeets that escaped and lived in my bathroom for two weeks and shat on me while I was in the shower, things like that. So we talk about ourselves. I say we because my wife produces it with me. She doesn’t come on the microphones very often, but it is the two of us 50/50. And now half of the people are coming on to listen to those crazy intro rambles and half of them are coming for the guest and it’s become this fantastic full time job outside of our day jobs that we wouldn’t change for the world. It’s been an amazing experience and it’s growing all the time. We’ve become a top four podcast in Israel. We were top 15 in the UK Top 30 in Canada top 50 in the US. So that does vary in numbers. But it’s 10s of 1000s of people a month, which isn’t. It’s not the Joe Rogan experience. But it’s a strange feeling to know that people are listening. Yeah, it’s a really lovely thing. It takes up all of our free time, even so that the kids now record their own podcast that we keep within our family group that we share with the grandparents. We’re just podcast obsessed. But the most difficult, stressful time-consuming thing is getting someone to agree to come on the podcast is booking the guests are really… Yeah, 100%. The editing takes loads of time and doing all the actual work to piece an episode together. But that you can do on the couch with an earphone in whilst you’re with the kids or with people.
Eitan Chitayat 50:53
Have you found it difficult to get to reach out to people or to get them to say, Yes?
Daniel M. Rosenberg 51:00
I could blanket email everybody in the world and ask them to come on the podcast and loads of people would say yes, and I’ve made the mistake of having people on the show in the past that I just needed a guest to fill a slot, we made a commitment from the 23rd of December 2019, that we would release a weekly podcast indefinitely, just once a week, which means we’ve got to record more than once a week. So you want to have some in the bank. And it means that bear in mind, we’ve got to try and get a broad range of people. And sometimes it’s an issue with availability. Sometimes it’s people just don’t want to talk about their life on a podcast. And all some people see you talking about Israel or the fact you’re a Jew and no forget him. It’s a difficult prospect.
And thankfully, some very prominent people have engaged with it. I have Noa Tishbi on the other week, you and I’ve talked about this. And she wouldn’t have given me a second look if it weren’t for that viral video. But then I’ve had other people come on who are quite high profile who just were grateful to be reached out to …it’s just the most time-consuming thing, especially when you have a full-time career and businesses to run. So you’ve really got to love it, as you said, and I do – we do. And it’s something that is developing and changing. We’re always trying to mess with the format to see if we can make it better. But we’ve found that as long as we are consistent. So we put out an episode a week. And as long as we’re honest, I’m happy to say that sometimes I’ve got an ego. Sometimes I don’t get it right. If I can’t, if I come across as inauthentic or if I’m being inauthentic, I should say whether I’m coming across as that or not. I’m doing the people who are taking time out of their day to stick me in there really a huge disservice.
Eitan Chitayat 52:58
Today’s climate where you know, like we were talking about before people are kind of there’s a mob mentality. I think that people say what it is that they should say, or they think they should say as opposed to questioning it publicly and having the guts to, to challenge and to just to challenge. It doesn’t mean that you agree, you know, but like, where’s that coming from? or why do you feel that way? And I think that that’s something that I feel that you do.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 53:32
Thank you. Yeah, I think we’re in a world where virtue signaling out of fear of being canceled stops people from doing the right thing. And bear in mind, the right thing is subjective. If you’ve got your own opinions on a situation that definitely is different from mine, if you’ve done the same amount of homework I’ve done then we can debate and discuss but we’re not enemies. I feel that the concept that the whole cancel culture thing is terrifying to people – is a very strange thing. This lack of nuanced conversation. And Twitter bears a lot of responsibility for that fast pace, bang, bang, bang, black or white, good or bad, right side of history type mentality.
So I know that Eve has a relationship with Meghan McCain, at least in terms of friendly conversation, and I know that Meghan McCain is a controversial figure. But just because you agree with let’s say, nine out of 10 of the things she might say five out of one out of 10 does that mean that your association with someone you disagree with slightly means that you should be blocked? its this idea that you’re either pro-Trump or anti-Trump, right side of history, wrong side of history. I’m not a fan of Trump. I’ll state it now. But if Trump were to say the sky is blue, I wouldn’t go ‘No, it’s fucking green because Trump said is blue.’ Right? You’ve got to call a spade a spade. If Meghan McCain is pro-life, which a lot of people don’t like people who are pro-life, but says Jews shouldn’t be oppressed because of their ethnicity, you can pick and choose what you like about someone.
I’ve talked about this before on another podcast. You may have heard of the musician Tim Minchin. So Tim wrote and produced I believe it was the Matilda Broadway stage musical. I don’t know if it’s gone to Broadway, its massive. I know. It’s a big deal. But he was interviewed by Jay Rayner, the British food critic who also has a podcast called “Out to Lunch”, a fantastic podcast. And Jay who’s Jewish said something to the effect of your work at the moment is on a play the musical based on the works of Roald Dahl. Roald Dahl famously, a rabid anti-Semite. And he said, ‘Well, how can you justify that?’ I’m paraphrasing, of course. And Tim gave this incredible answer. He said, Well, yes, he was known to be an anti-Semite. But he was also a writer of children’s books. He was also a father who was also and this and that he was a multifaceted human being. And if I were to write somebody off based on one aspect of their entire life, or their work or their personality, I feel like I’d be doing a disservice to anybody I’m interacting with. Again, I’m paraphrasing, but yes, okay…rabid anti-Semite, but he also wrote books that made millions of children happy.
And I’m not making a play about anti-Semitism. I’m focusing on a piece of artwork. Now, granted, it would be very difficult to say, Oh, Hitler bit of a naughty guy, but a beautiful painter, right? But we should be able to discuss the positive and negative attributes of somebody without putting them in a black or white category. So another conversation I know Eve Barlow had this because I had to similarly after my video came out, was contacted by Fox News. Fox News said we want to do a piece on antisemitism can we interview, Eve was interviewed on Fox news in a more prominent way. But I saw some of the messages she got, it was similar to what I got. How dare you engage with Fox News? You’re right wing, you’re part of the enemy! Yeah. Okay. I’m not a fan of Fox News. But CNN didn’t contact me, ABC didn’t contact me. No, left-wing media Corporation said, We want to hear about antisemitism from someone talking about it. That doesn’t mean I support them. But they wanted to give a platform to what I’m talking about. And irrespective of how I feel about them, that’s a positive thing in my book, and saying now, Daniel Rosenberg’s right-wing, Fox Trump, well, I’m afraid that’s your ignorance, my friends.
Eitan Chitayat 57:57
A very dear friend was over and she has a 14 year old daughter. And I experienced for the first time the effect that this climate is having on teenage kids, because I couldn’t talk to her. At a certain stage, we started talking about human rights. And we were talking about the racial inequalities in the States and the predicament and the suffering of many black people. And I said, I can empathize. And she said, How can you empathize? And I said, Well, I’m Jewish. And she was like, Well, you’ve never been through what they’ve been through. I said, No, not exactly. But I’ve had stones thrown at me. I’ve had coins thrown at me. I’ve been attacked in the street three times for being Jewish, literally.
So I think that gives me some connection there. And she wouldn’t have it. But it was the way that she wouldn’t have it was like she had her hands over her ears, and was like, No, no, no, no, because it didn’t fit with her with her way of thinking or the way that she has discovered things or the way that she understands things. And that’s what struck me was in her inability and her impatience, and her kind of like, not allowing me to talk. And not being open to listening. I said, you have to hear me. You know, I hear you. Now you have to hear me. And she was like, Well, no, I don’t want to hear what you have to say. And that’s a 14-year-old, intelligent girl who’s got her heart in the right place. But ultimately, she said something else as well which was very disturbing.
She got to a stage where she started talking about expressing her opinion. And when I told her if you have an opinion and you express it, then you’re in the game, that means that you have to hear my opinion now. And she goes, Well, I don’t have to, and you can’t tell me what to do. And I don’t have a responsibility to change anything, either. Because I’m not an adult, that’s actually what she said. It’s very disturbing to me that young children are, you know, able to kind of think in that way, right now that you can, you can say things, but you don’t have to hear things, you can have a position that you like, in which you would like to change the world, but you will not take any responsibility for something that is outside of your sphere of thinking. And it’s, um, and it was very, it was very disturbing, you know, this is the new generation. And she literally was, she was actively canceling me, actually, you can see it, she was just like, like, reject, and I will not listen. And I will not take responsibility for anything that I do not want to take responsibility for. And I was going nuts.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:01:05
I think that the current world that we’re living in, that type of behavior is at the door of social media. When you and I were growing up, you’d have these types of conversations over the dinner table. And you’d debate with people face to face about this. And there was give and there was take, and the rules that you were trying to lay out, were not rules that you were pushing on her, you’re just saying no, this is a part of being a human being and holding a conversation with somebody else, a conversation or a debate or discussion. There’s a give and take, there’s a back and forth. But and I don’t experience this because I don’t have any teenagers in my life. I’ve got a seven-year-old, five year old and a nearly one-year-old. So I haven’t encountered this in that way. But if I were to make an assumption, it would be because that 14 year old at the time, they’ve become sentient and aware of these situations and has only observed these conversations in a manner that suited herself on a screen, which is very easy. For confirmation biases sake to say I agree, I agree or I don’t agree with that, block, delete. put that to one side. And let’s say you’ve got someone who’s posting that type of opinion that you can’t be racist if you’re white, which is something I’ve heard a lot recently, and I’m Jewish and that I’m Ashkenazi, therefore, I’m a white person.
Now apparently, that type of opinion. Post, comment, comment, comment, comment? Well, I don’t like that comment. So I’m going to delete it. Look at all these positive comments that people are engaging with. There is no medium in which kids nowadays are engaging with other people on these topics and having disagreements, it’s either No, I’m right, you’re wrong. And it’s that virtue signaling, I’m on the right side of history type behavior that is being taught to kids, it seems. And it is terrifying. Because when my kids are old enough to have these conversations, I’d rather they didn’t engage in the fucking conversation at all, than get involved in an ignorant manner. In a belligerent manner. I’d rather they did their homework and jumped in when they had the resources. And if they’re arguing with somebody who has also done similar amounts of work, they’ll disagree, but they’ll come out of it with respect. Maybe that’s a very optimistic, naïve view.
Eitan Chitayat 1:03:31
That’s the problem I see a lot of and I don’t actually think that it’s all social media. I think we’re the problem. The grownups, the adults, I think cell phone, smartphone addiction, that plays into it. Kids see us on our phones all the time. We’re not engaging with our children. Like I think that we should, and yes, I use the word should. I know people say, Oh, don’t judge that shit, man. I’m judging. Watch your kids. And you should be eyes on what’s the role that we play to protect them. And I think that there are so many parents who are with small children, which is very difficult, as you know, as I know, it’s very difficult to be present with them. And you know, you have that phone as a distraction. So what we do in the house is we’re not on our phones at home, like literally, our kids will not see us on the phone. When I go out to football practice or see them in judo, they won’t see me on the phone, so I’ll be all eyes on them. So that they’ll learn but I don’t see that with parents. I don’t see parents doing that. And it gets to the point where at a very young age, these kids are picking up phones, they get onto social media and then my kids are going to have to deal and try and talk to those kids who do not know how to communicate, I don’t want to say properly but might not have the social skills in terms of being able to talk and debate and argue and then leave as friends. It’s all connected to short, punchy, instant out.
That’s terrible. I mean, that’s what I hate about the world today. This I like, you and I are having a conversation in this is an actual conversation, I’m learning your, you know, we’re listening to each other. And that’s actually what I like about podcasts is people really connecting with each other, as opposed to connecting with each other on social, which we’re really not doing. And I do worry for children. I wish, you know, like, I have these conversations with parents in my neighborhood. I can get very passionate about this. And I wrote an article about smartphone addiction, which I’ll send you, they just kind of like shrug their shoulders and they go, Well, that’s the world we live in today. And I’m like, motherfucker, it’s not the world we live in today. If we go to the school, and we say, Hey, you know, teachers, you know that no cell phones in the class, kids can’t come with the phone – that’s on us, we can put the pressure on to make that happen, as opposed to the kids go out and you see literally seven kids fucking sitting down each single motherfucking one of them on their phone, and they’re not talking to each other pisses me off.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:06:15
I agree. I have to also add that I am one of those parents who’s always on their phone, and it’s terrible. And Victoria is always saying please put your fucking phone away, please. And it’s something I need to improve on. It’s going to have an effect on the kids 100% I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do it.
Eitan Chitayat 1:06:35
But it is on us to recognize it, acknowledge it and do the best that we can. That is better than I’m just gonna keeping on myself. And at least you’re saying you’re gonna work on it, you know? Yeah.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:06:49
Yeah. It’s now up to me to actually follow through with that. But yeah, on the topic of podcasts being a very beneficial thing. I think what’s great about this is you do get formulaic podcasts whereby it’s very rigid with interview-style questions, whereby it’s not a conversation. It’s almost rehearsed or stilted. Now, what I like about your format is that it’s mostly conversation, but then you have this formula whereby you bring it together with set certain questions that how do I put it so I listen to the Guy Spier one, I knew at what point you were going to ask a certain question. But also in between two points. You’ve gone off having a very nuanced, friendly conversation that you wouldn’t hear on a Fox News interview, or see on a Twitter argument. That’s what’s beautiful, is that it’s dirty. There are mistakes, we stumble over what we’re saying. And we are human, which means to be imperfect. Yes, that’s great.
Eitan Chitayat 1:07:51
I couldn’t agree more. I wish there was more of that, you know, I wish there was more humanity. Humanity as it flows, you know, disagreements, mistakes, admissions, judgments, and being honest about it. I mean, I actually do have a couple of those formulaic questions, too. I have. I do have to.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:08:16
So usually, that’s part of the style. The essence of the podcast is a conversation with a structure. But it’s not. If you ask me a question, with the intent to ask me then another question. But my answer to the first question went off at a tangent, you’d be completely fucked. That is where some podcasts fall flat. But what I like is you’ve not got any notes in front of you. You’re just talking to me. And you’ve got an idea of what you want to ask me. But what you asked me will change based on what we’ve been talking about throughout. Yeah.
Eitan Chitayat 1:08:51
What I really want to ask you is, in your opinion, what is your gift?
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:08:59
My gift, I’m quite a self-deprecating person. So that’s a difficult question for me to ask. It’s a strange paradox, being stormed with an ego but also hating oneself a lot. But if I had a gift, I would say it’s my ability to persist with something that I’m passionate about. I’m very proud of myself that I’ve managed to continue running this podcast with Victoria the way we’ve been doing it. It has not been easy. But we have persisted. I am proud that if I need to pull two allnighters on the run, to get a project done, supposing that I’m not distracted and I’m allowed to do that. I can do that where others might stop. If I needed to drive the length of the country, I would do that. There would be nothing that would stop me within myself. If I have to. If I set goal for myself, unless I have a responsibility to others, there’s nothing that will stop me from attaining that goal.
That is something that I’ve become proud of myself about my ability to persist and keep on trucking, even through exhaustion or stress or worry. And I should also add that I would not have been able to find that gift without Victoria, who I know sometimes she’ll say, she feels a bit like the sideshow through what I’m doing. I can be quite dominant with my presence. But there are times where I felt like quitting. And there’s been times where I felt like I couldn’t persist any longer and she’s gone “No, you do not quit. You’re not someone who quits.” And I’ve gone Yeah, you’re right. You’re right. I’m going to keep going. So a huge part of any gift that I have. Definitely has Victoria’s involvement as well.
Eitan Chitayat 1:11:01
What are you terrible at?
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:11:08
Team sports? I’m not very good at team sports. I’m pretty bad at plumbing.
Eitan Chitayat 1:11:17
Oh no no no, mate. We’re not getting into team sports and plumbing on this podcast.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:11:24
I’m bad at answering questions on the spot, sometimes, yeah. I’m quite bad at taking someone’s advice, until I’ve had reason to make my own mistake first. My dad always used to say to me, learn from other people’s mistakes so that you don’t have to make them yourself. And I did not take that advice. I could be always a better listener. I think, yeah, I can be particularly bad at listening and paying attention. And I’m also very bad at being left alone in my own head. Very bad at it. I always have to have a noise to distract me. Because I’ll start to spiral. I have to have a podcast or music or something to work on.
Eitan Chitayat 1:12:17
So something didn’t resonate with me when you said that you. Yeah, paraphrasing. Not a good listener sometimes. Yeah. Which is what you do.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:12:28
That’s the irony. If you listen to the trailer for my podcast, I say somewhere at the beginning, that I spent my life speaking to interesting people speaking. But I could always do better at listening. So, yes, I speak to people all day, every day. And there have been times as friends or family have said, You speak to people all the time. And you seem like such a good listener on the podcast. I asked you to do this three times and you weren’t listening. Can’t you use some of those skills in real life? I think inherently, I can be quite distracted and in my own head or focused on a project… So you asked about a gift. That focus can be negative on the people around me if I’m not careful. So I do suck at listening a lot of the time, and I struggled to take people’s advice until it’s too late.
Eitan Chitayat 1:13:19
If you could have like, two or three people today and tomorrow on your podcast and you could interview them, who would they be?
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:13:29
One of them would have been my wife’s great-grandpa Rafe, who was a master cabinet maker. He died before I met Victoria I think in about 2004. If I’m right, lived till he was well into his late 90s, worked almost his entire life. Very impoverished, working-class Jewish background in Liverpool. But the stories I’ve heard about this guy, so his father, Abraham Dorfman was a master cabinet maker. So his two sons Rafe and Charlie became cabinet makers as well. And they were terrible at business. They would give things away when they have nothing to put on the table themselves. They had one daughter, Naomi, who is my wife’s grandmother, who in her own right is an incredibly interesting person.
So I’d say Rafe Dorfman is someone I wish I would have had the opportunity to speak to. I would have had my own great grandfather Morris Desa. An entrepreneur, born in Germany, I believe or was at least educated in Germany. And during the Second World War was living in the UK. And I believe they were involved in the war effort to help evacuees or Kindertransport teams or Jewish people moving out of Germany. So I would have loved to talk to him.
I guess I’ve said two people who are no longer with us.. one more, who’s living, you know what now, I have to say, Robin Williams will be my third. That’s my big power play, one of my favorite people my entire life, and an incredibly positive force in my childhood. And one of the most flawed people I’ve ever heard of. I wish in some way, there could have been an opportunity to just have a five-minute conversation with him. That would have been incredible. And I wouldn’t have said a word, I would have only listened.
Eitan Chitayat 1:15:34
I don’t think you would have had a chance, the guy was a billion miles an hour.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:15:39
I don’t know if those three were in the realm of what you were asking for. But that’s what came to my head when you asked.
Eitan Chitayat 1:15:47
And that’s all that matters. So if I have to ask you the question that I asked people that come on the show, it just very few to complete the sentence. And you know what’s coming. I’m that…
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:16:00
Father of three, husband of one, master of none. And I’ll clarify that with saying, for years, I hated that I jumped from thing to thing to thing, whether it was business, hobbies, interests. And I always felt that I didn’t have transferable skills to feed my family or make a living. And I thought, I’m this hamster on a wheel always running, never achieving anything. But suddenly, something in my late 20s clicked. And I realized that the transferable skill that I had was that I could dabble in a little bit of everything. And that meant that if you needed a light bulb changing, if you needed audio production on a podcast, if you needed me to work out a way of building a piece of machinery, I don’t know why. But I have this ability to just be moderately good, at most things. Not that great, not good enough to do anything special.
But apart from maybe playing tennis, or fixing the piping under a kitchen sink, I can turn my hand to almost anything. And that has served me in the last few years extremely well. And it has meant that my kids are interested in things in a way that I didn’t think was possible. It’s meant that my wife and I have a very interesting life. We try and do as much ourselves as we can. And I wear it like a badge of pride. I’m a master of none, jack of all trades, master of none, which is inherently a negative thing to call somebody. But I see it as something I’m quite proud of.
Eitan Chitayat 1:17:52
That’s great. I have two other questions. Because it’s something that I wanted to ask you. And I just I didn’t find the opportunity to ask you. But you said something interesting before we said you used to be a hypocrite. And I let it slip. To go back to that one.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:18:11
I should clarify it. I think I’m always at risk of being a hypocrite. But when I said I used to be a hypocrite, or I have been a hypocrite, I’ve been untruthful in representing myself in the past. For example, once when working for that accountancy firm, or trying to run my business people say, Dan, how’s it going? And I’d say it’s going really well. I’m doing this, I’m doing that. And it was all bullshit.
So the first step is lying to other people.
The second step is lying to yourself. Burying your head in the sand thing, you’ll all be okay. Because this fantasy you’re weaving is going to carry you through when in fact, what you should be doing is recognizing that you’re not where you should be. And despite it being embarrassing or not filled with pride, you should be trying to dig yourself out of the hole instead of digging deeper. And I dug myself into some pretty deep holes by lying to myself about how shitty a situation was. And I think I still have that in me. I have the ability to self sabotage and spiral and pretend like everything’s fine when it’s not. Not talking about antisemitism or Israel falls into that category. So I’m not going to talk about it and pretend like everything’s fine. No. I’m at a point in my life where I have a responsibility to talk about it. Because I have a platform. I’m very privileged, very fortunate to have what I have learned. I’m not just recording this on an iPhone. I’m in a beautiful setup that I have part and parcel because of my own hard work, but also the hard work of my family around me. Pretending like it’s all on my shoulders would be hypocritical would be untruthful.
And I think raw honesty is something I push for whereas in the past, I would always try and present myself as something that I hoped other people would want me to be, or would respect if I appeared to be respectful. And now I’d rather have my flaws out in the open. So at the very least, I could be accused of being honest.
Eitan Chitayat 1:20:16
Was this a gradual thing, Daniel, or was there something that you can put your finger on? That was like kind of like a turning point?
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:20:27
It was listening to podcasts. 100%. No, it was a mixture of listening to podcasts and Victoria having five miscarriages, not talking to anybody about it, then discovering that talking about it would change my life. So, when my brother introduced me to WTF with Marc Maron, as I said, the best podcast in the world, there were episodes on there, where after I’d run through all the celebrities that heard of I started listening to other episodes, Todd Glass coming out as gay, the former editor of the Onion, talking about trying to kill himself made me feel like the problems I had other people had. I wasn’t alone. And these people talking about it without supercuts and splicing it together and getting rid of all the ums and the coughs. It seemed to make them feel better for talking about it. They always said at the end what was really lovely, that was a really beneficial conversation. Thank you for having me on.
And so when Victoria was going through that two-year period, and bear in mind, it wasn’t happening to me, it was happening to her. I didn’t talk to anybody about it. I didn’t talk to my parents about it. But then I did some computer work with a friend of mine, who I knew superficially. And his wife had lost a baby late – had a late-term miscarriage. Very traumatic and very upsetting. And I think I just, we knew about it from other people. I asked him how he was doing, and we got talking, and I said, Listen, it’s something that must be heartbreaking. Listen, this is what we’ve been going through. And we began to talk about this type of thing. And I had never talked to anybody about what had been going on that we were struggling to have a third kid. And we were two grown bearded Jewish men, sobbing, holding each other. After having these conversations, I realized it seemed to help him to talk and for me to talk, and it 100% helped me. And I didn’t have to be ashamed of that. I didn’t have to be ashamed that we might never be able to have children again, for whatever reason, I didn’t have to be ashamed that I wanted more children and couldn’t. And that then just grew from there. And somehow, magically, we ended up having a third child, whilst we were releasing the podcast, or we found out we were pregnant after the podcast was first launched. And my life changed completely with that one simple thing of if you’re just talking to people and be honest, and listen to them talking, and then being honest, what have you got to be afraid of? If you’re hiding yourself, you’re constantly going to be in fear of being found out.
It’s better to say, this is an aspect of myself that is flawed, I can have an ego I can be prone to spiraling. Talking about it is far more healthy for me than pretending like I’ve got everything clued in. I’m always faking it till I make it and admitting that has helped me beyond belief. And so it’s only a very recent development in my life so far.
Eitan Chitayat 1:23:55
Amen. Brother. Tell me something before we wrap up. I want everyone listening to follow you and to listen to your wonderful podcast so let the people know where they can.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:24:07
So I am on all of the social media places, I should say this the Sods Law podcast can be found on all social media platforms with the handle @sodspod to sod studs, facade sods law pod for podcast. I’m also on Instagram at Daniel M. Rosenberg. And the podcast can be found on every single podcast app, Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, also on YouTube. And you can also find the podcast and more information on sodspod.com
Eitan Chitayat 1:24:38
Said like a true professional. Daniel, you’re a good man. I’m very glad to know you.
Daniel M. Rosenberg 1:24:45
Thank you for having me.
Eitan Chitayat 1:24:47